Katie Boulter after knocking Harriet Dart out of Nottingham Open: It’s awful playing a friend

Katie Boulter swinging
Katie Boulter in action

Katie Boulter and Harriet Dart had a fiery exchange at the net after the British number one’s victory at the Nottingham Open.

Boulter completed a 6-3, 7-5 win in the all-British match to reach her first WTA Tour-level semi-final, but as the players shook hands Dart had clearly taken exception to something.

She appeared to question her opponent’s professionalism, to which Boulter replied “It’s nothing personal. Mate, I do it every single match.”

Afterwards Boulter said in her on-court interview: “It was a battle out there. You could see how much it meant to me to get through that match.

“It’s awful playing a friend but I tried to play the ball and not the player. Today it was my day.”

Boulter was joined in the semi-finals by British number three Jodie Burrage, another debutant in the last four, after coming through a tight match against Poland’s Magdalena Frech.

The 24-year-old won five games in a row to take the first set, finishing it off with an ace.

But she looked up against it after requiring a medical time-out on her way to dropping the second, and fell a break down early in the third.

However, Burrage broke straight back and went on to clinch a 6-2, 3-6, 7-5 victory in two hours and 21 minutes.

“I’m absolutely knackered now,” she said on court. “I wish I could stop playing three-set matches, but if it gets me the win, then I’ve got to grind through it.

“It was a really tough match. I am feeling it a little bit and in the second set, I was thinking too much about that and not about the tennis. Then I picked it up in the third set.

“This week has given me so much confidence. To come out and make my first semi-final in a WTA event, the confidence it gives me is massive and I will take it through to the next tournaments.”

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